Eat. Watch. Do. — ‘Cinderella’ at Lyric Opera review, James Beard semifinalists, plus Sueños headliners

It’s Thursday, Chicago.

Amid all the rain, gray skies and slush this week, we’re keeping the cozy vibes going, and we have the perfect roundup of restaurants, cafes and bars in Chicago where you can do just that.

In dining news, semifinalists for the James Beard Awards were announced yesterday and 17 Chicago chefs and restaurants made the list. We also have a new review by Tribune critic Louisa Kung Liu Chu of Anelya, where Beard-award-winning chefs are finding inspiration in Ukrainian cuisine.

On the entertainment side, Tribune critic Chris Jones reviewed Lyric Opera’s rendition of Rossini’s “Cinderella,” and headliners for the Sueños Latin music festival this spring are amping up music fans, another sign that warmer days await us.

Enjoy the weekend, we’ll see you back here next week.

Lauryn Azu, deputy senior editor

Review: Anelya, where James Beard award-winning chefs have begun a new Ukrainian revolution in Chicago

Parachute chefs, owners and spouses Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim have opened an ode to his Ukrainian culture in Avondale. Read Tribune critic Louisa Kung Liu Chu’s review here.

Column: The ‘Barbie’ Oscar snubs aren’t about genre bias — unless you’re misspelling the word ‘gender’

“Barbie’s” eight Oscar nominations don’t include one for Greta Gerwig’s direction. She has made three films, all best picture nominees so far. Read Tribune critic Michael Phillips’ commentary here.

James Beard Awards 2024: 17 Chicago chefs, restaurants on semifinalist list

The 2024 James Beard Awards are inching closer. 17 Chicago restaurants and chefs saw semifinalist nominations Wednesday. Read who was nominated here.

Review: In Rossini’s ‘Cinderella’ by Lyric Opera, a lively story without a princess in sight

“Cinderella” is a barnstormer of a title, but there is no fairy godmother or glass slipper in this emotionally potent “La Cenerentola.” Read Tribune critic Chris Jones’ review here.

Get warm this winter with the hearty cuisines of Central Asia at these 5 Chicago restaurants

There are several restaurants in Chicago specializing in Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and other Central Asian dishes. Read about them here.

Sueños Festival headliners for 2024 will be Peso Pluma, Maluma and Rauw Alejandro

Sueños is returning to Grant Park this summer for a third annual festival of Latin music and reggaeton on May 25-26. Read more about the headlining acts here.

10 comfy, cozy Chicago restaurants, bars and cafes to try during winter

If you’re looking for your next snow day activity, here are 10 standout restaurants, bars and cafes in Chicago that exude a warm, homey vibe to try when temperatures drop and snow falls.

‘Masters of the Air’ review: The story of WWII bomber pilots, from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg

Following in the footsteps of “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” the limited series on Apple TV+ portrays the air war, starring Austin Butler. Read Tribune critic Nina Metz’s review here.

Vanilla Sex, Time to Ketch Up and Don’t Look Down: Bartenders get creative in nonalcoholic drink competition

Partaking in Dry January? Get inspiration for your next mocktail from a recent alcohol-free cocktail competition in Lakeview. We have the story here.

All things grow: Justin Peck is transforming Sufjan Stevens’ album into ‘Illinoise,’ a different kind of stage musical

What exactly is “Illinoise?” Sufjan Stevens released the musical album “Illinois,” which has been turned into a theater piece that will premiere officially on Feb. 3 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. Read Chris Jones’ preview here.